build your brand
manufacturers of intimate apparel
"Lingerie is a visual expression of how you feel about your body "
Start Your Own Lingerie Brand
Prototype takes the pain out of developing and manufacturing lingerie and intimates.
We help with Custom, Private Label and White Label Lingerie
About the Lingerie Manufacturing Industry
Manufacturing custom lingerie is a very specific and specialized type of clothing manufacturing. If you’re in the market for lingerie manufacturers, you’ve probably discovered by now that it’s difficult to track one down. Of course there are lingerie manufacturers online, but not very many compared with all the other clothing manufacturers. And, most of them are huge factories producing for international brands.
The reason is simple: lingerie is crazy difficult to make! MOQs are often low and much of the work is by hand, making efficiency difficult to achieve when manufacturing intimates
Lingerie is produced around the world, but mostly in small, regional pockets. The United States, for example, has very lingerie factories, despite the increasing demand. France, of course, is famous for its intimates but production there is limited to mostly just couture. China is by far the largest producer of lingerie and intimates. The good suppliers in China, however, have enormous MOQs far out of reach for smaller labels and startups.
There are a few suppliers in Indonesia, but these too are far too large to be available to small labels. And in fact, many are under contract with large corporate clients and cannot take on other clients even if they wanted to. The bottom line is that there just aren’t very many options anywhere in the world for small to mid-size MOQ intimates manufacturers. And THAT, friends, is exactly how and why Prototype got its first start, back in 2014.
start a new lingerie brand
Starting a new lingerie brand is no small feat. It's a challenging segment of the fashion industry with stiff competition. But with the help of Prototype, we can help guide you carefully through all the challenges. The first challenge is the development of a unique and appealing design for the product. Lingerie is a very personal product and buyers want something that reflects their individual style, taste, and body shape. A successful lingerie brand must take into account current trends while also offering options that stand out from the competition. They need to consider fit and materials that are comfortable, supportive, and flattering. It can be difficult to come up with innovative designs in such a crowded market as well as make sure they meet quality standards.
The next challenge when starting a lingerie business is marketing it successfully. It takes more than just a good product to get noticed in this industry. Your customers must be convinced that the brand offers something worth buying. This starts with creating meaningful connections with customers by understanding their needs, desires, and expectations from lingerie products. A strong social media presence is essential for any lingerie business today; it can help build trust and familiarity while showcasing the best of what the brand has to offer its customers through visuals, stories, conversations and more. Your advertising campaigns should focus on delivering messages that resonate with target customers in order to stand out amidst competitors’ offerings.
Finally, financial stability is another major obstacle in launching a successful lingerie business as it requires significant capital investment upfront plus ongoing investments to keep it running smoothly over time. In order to achieve long-term success there must be careful budgeting and planning of resources throughout the entire process—from manufacturing costs associated with raw materials to distribution expenses related to sales channels—while also leaving enough room for marketing expenses in order to attract new customers and remain competitive within the market space.
Prototype can assist you during your growth process. We offer all the tools and services needed to build and launch your own lingerie brand.
low mOQ lingerie manufacturer
Lingerie factories offering low MOQ for intimates are rare indeed. Many of our clients have reported that they have not been able to find a single factory willing to produce quality lingerie in small quantities. Small MOQs are difficult for a manufacturer for any type of garment. But lingerie is even tougher. The details are fine, quality expectations are high. The fabric is typically delicate, such as with lace. They often involve stretch, as well as structural elements, like underwires, etc. All considered, lingerie is about the most difficult item to produce in garment production lines. The high retail prices for intimate apparel makes a bit more sense when you consider all the angles.
That’s why Prototype is a rare bird! We got our start in lingerie, so we’re good at it and we’re used to it. It’s not something that we’re afraid to do. To make it worthwhile for us to do lingerie manufacturing, we have to keep our prices up, but we strive to be as reasonable as possible. Our pricing varies depending on your needs. Our quality level ranges as well - from mid-grade to high-end. Because everything is handmade, we can handle fine detail, but our pricing is nothing like European couture. We’re not competing with the cheapest Walmart undies, but we’re not building $1000 corsets either. Our lingerie is mid to high quality and priced to match.
To learn about our latest MOQ requirements for lingerie and other products, visit our MOQ info page here:
lingerie fabrics and materials
Lingerie can be difficult to source fabrics and materials for. Lace fabrics are fairly easy to find in many parts of the world, but stretch lace for example... another thing entirely. To design a lingerie line, you need access to a wide variety of trims, laces, and structural elements. Then the manufacturer needs to be able to work with the same or similar materials.
Many designers don’t realize about the wide difference between what is available where they are doing the designing and what is available where the items will be manufactured. This means that the materials will either need to be sourced where the production is, or the materials will need to be supplied to the lingerie manufacturers. When sourcing fabrics and components, it’s vitally important that the designers and developers carefully consider the location where the lingerie will be manufactured.
For lingerie labels using unique laces, this can be a real challenge. We typically recommend to our clients that they design with a bit of flexibility. Then, we can source similar materials from our end that will hopefully work. If they don’t work, then we can always import another option. But that adds time and inefficiency to the process, so we try to avoid it when we can.
colors and dyes in the lingerie manufacture process
One of the more difficult challenges with lingerie is dealing with colors. Intimates often contain a mixture of fabrics and materials, such as elastics, laces, etc. Each of these is made from a slightly different material. Some will be polyester, some elastane, some plastics, metals, and so on.
Fabric dye works by transferring color to fabric fibers. It does this by bonding with the molecules of the fabric to form a strong, permanent bond. The dyes impart color by either reacting chemically with the molecules in the fabric or by staining the fibers with pigment particles. Depending on the type of dye used and the specific fabric, you may need to use a fixative after dyeing your fabric to ensure that it keeps its color for longer periods of time.
If the design is meant to be all one color, that means that each of those items needs to match. Unfortunately, that’s impossible. At least not without a huge amount of cost and effort. The dyes simply don’t work the same way on each type of material. So we have to be a bit flexible.
We typically tell our clients to design with this challenge in mind. Allow some interplay between the colors in the design. Make sure that the differences in color are a feature, not an error. If something is really super important, we can usually find a solution.
Plan for Success
Here’s some practical advice for designers from a lingerie manufacturers perspective:
Be practical in your process.
Be realistic about your goals for your label and your financial constraints.
If you go in to the business thinking, "NO compromises!", then you may be in for a difficult experience.
Don’t let compromises become a sore spot. Plan them from the beginning. Be in control of your compromises. If something isn’t working, find another solution. Manufacturers want to do the best they can for you, but you also have an obligation to help find a satisfactory outcome for both parties. Always keep in mind that once you’ve found a manufacturer you like, try to develop a trusting relationship with them. Realize that you’re both on the same team. A successful outcome will be best for both of you!
Just starting out?
For fashion entrepreneurs just starting out, we recommend you check out the Brand Foundry. The Brand Foundry has all the services you'll need to get your fashion brand off the ground and ready to launch!